Published: November 20, 2001
LONG BEACH, CALIF. – “From Tavern to Tabernacle: Decorated British and European Pewter, 1600-1800” is on exhibit at the Long Beach Museum of Art’s Victor Gail and Thomas H. Oxford Decorative Arts Gallery. The exhibition, the first of its kind to be presented in this country, explores the diverse subjects and techniques used by European artisans to embellish pewter in the early modern period.
Featured in the exhibition are a variety of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century forms, tankards and flagons used for drinking, seder plates used for ceremonial meals and decorative plates. Unlike gold or silver, which at the time was expensive and available to only the wealthiest classes, pewter was used by a broader range of middle- and upper-class families.
Examining these rdf_Descriptions provides a glimpse into the day-to-day life of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Europeans and the influence they may have had on newly emerging American life.
Pewter is an alloy of tin with lead, copper and other metals. It was melted into liquid at relatively low temperatures and cast by using bronze molds. The 60 works in “From Tavern to Tabernacle” were produced in England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Holland and Italy during a time in which pewter was highly prized by its owners and makers.
The show includes examples of naïve wriggle work engraving, along with relief, punch and hammered decoration. It is divided into five categories, based on the subjects depicted on the objects. The categories are “Religious Imagery,” “Plants,” “Marriage and Family,” “Animals” and “Work.”
The exhibition, which runs through March 17, was organized by Dr Kenneth D. Barkin, professor of European history, University of California, Riverside, and accompanied by an illustrated publication with essay by Barkin and foreword by Long Beach Museum of Art director Harold B. Nelson.
The Long Beach Museum of Art is at 2300 East Ocean Boulevard. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 am to 5 pm. For information, 562-439-2119 or www.lbma.org.
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